Friday, December 23, 2005

Music rules in 2005

Though it will pale in hipness and volume in comparison with Hillary's list, I put together my favorite songs of 2005 (in a top-15 list form):

1. Arms of a Woman - Amos Lee
The best album I bought all year long, and this was the best song of the bunch. Read somewhere's he's like a male version of Norah Jones, but I don't think that's the case. He's got more musical range and there's a more distinctive blues/folk sound to it ... more urban.

2. Grillz - Nelly f. Ali, Big Gipp, J.D., Paul Wall
Damn catchy and, though folks are partial to the Bill and Hillary reference, my favorite lyric is 'I got the diamonds and the ice all hand set/I might cause a cold front if I take a deep breath.'

3. Numb/Encore - Jay-Z/Linkin Park
From what I can determine, this was in 2005, though it seems like it's been out for at least two years. Anyway, best mash-up yet.

4. Breathe Me - Sia
I wavered about ranking this No. 1, but decided it was still top five worthy. Though its use in the Derailed trailer almost ruined it.

5. Run It - Chris Brown f. Julez Santana
Definitely this year's Yeah!, and perhaps with a better beat.

6. Tell Me - Bobby Valentino
Hillary loves the Bobby Valentino, but is partial to Slow Down. I still think this was the best song on the CD.

7. DOA - Foo Fighters
The whole CD was good, but this was the best of the lot from those fellas.

8. Trapstar - Young Jeezy
A favorite on the Greg Street show at night ... and I don't even really like Young Jeezy all that much.

9. I Think They Like Me (So So Def Remix) - Dem Franchise Boyz
Here's another song that I was convinced had been out forever, but the Jermaine Dupri remix infused it with new life. On a side night, the second song on my list featuring lyrics concerning someone 'liking' something/someone.

10. Devils & Dust - Bruce Springsteen
I'll be honest ... not really that great of a song, but it is The Boss and I love The Boss. So subpar Bruce Springsteen is better than no Bruce Springsteen at all.

11. You're Beautiful - James Blunt
I really don't want to like this song ... but it's so weird and oddly depressing, it's almost irresistable.

12. Seen It All Before - Amos Lee
Take two for Mr. Lee. Like I said, good CD.

13. Don't Cha Wanna Ride - Joss Stone
Again, not her best effort, but I like Joss Stone and this song grew on me over time.

14. You & Me - Lifehouse
Speaking of sappy, here's another cheesy, guitar-driven, made-for-WB, pop love song ... seriously, it was in the prom episode of last year's Smallville.

15. Precious - Depeche Mode
And speaking of Smallville, this song was in this year's season premiere (one would think I actually watch Smallville, but I honestly don't). I've warmed on Depeche Mode over time, and this song is pretty good.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The mourning continues

Good column by Boston Globe writer Gordon Eddes on the bidding war for Johnny Damon:

The Yankees were aware of Damon's concerns regarding the direction of the Sox, especially the uncertainty in the front office engendered by Theo Epstein's departure and the major overhaul to the roster. But they also decided that to break what they felt was a genuine bond between Damon and his fan base, they would have to overpay.

They were willing to do so. The Sox were not, which supports a suspicion held by more than a few that the baseball operations crew, and their shadow adviser, were not as committed to keeping Damon as others in the organization. Lucchino undoubtedly will take the hit for this one, though longtime adversary Boras said, ''Larry and I had very good meetings. I had no issue with negotiations with the Red Sox."

Damon, clearly, had his doubts about how much the Red Sox wanted him. ''The biggest thing for [the fans] to know is I tried," he said. ''I tried last offseason, during the first part of the season, past the All-Star break. I called them up yesterday."

But it is simplistic to believe that had the Sox acted more swiftly, they would have gotten the deal done. Do you really believe Boras would have allowed Damon to sign a new deal last spring? Is there any doubt that had the Sox jumped to a higher number earlier this winter, they would have succeeded only in raising the ceiling of Damon's market?

But it also is reasonable to conclude that with the clock ticking, the Sox were outmaneuvered by the Bombers. A little more love, and a few more bucks, may have been all that it would have taken to keep Damon where he belongs.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

All about the ratings

Now, I'll be the first to admit that it isn't necessarily that big of a deal, but is anyone else wondering that if it had been anyone else rather than USC quarterback Matt Leinhart caught violating NCAA rules they wouldn't play in their bowl game?

That if, say, Georgia's Marcus Howard had filmed a spot for ESPN in violation of NCAA rules forbidding endorsing appearances, the organization wouldn't have been so forgiving? One would think that if you break a rule (no matter how silly it is), and said rule's punishment is suspension, that you'd be suspended for longer than a few days? And that it wouldn't be so secretive?

And the horse he rode in on ...

How awful is this?

I don't know who I'm more mad at ... Damon for taking only a few million more to sign with the team that is the biggest rival of his supposed favorite city with 'the best fans in the world' or the Red Sox for letting Theo Epstein go and then immediately reverting to their traditional ways of screwing over their fans.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Running for mayor is a big deal

Over at Athens Politics, we're having an interesting discussion concerning Athens-Clarke County mayoral candidate Andy Rusk's guest post. Pretty much, the short of it is this - Andy made his post, called a few things 'bullshit' and didn't expand on them. Adrian from Athens World said it probably wasn't the best course of action, politically, to use the word 'bullshit' so much, to which I said 'that's about right.'

Next thing I know, Adrian and I are lambasted by a chorus of folks for using what we thought amounted to common sense. Now these are folks who I like and respect, so a little disagreement is healthy. But they bring up larger issues - which I went into some over at the comments portion of the post - that I think are very important with regard to the 2006 mayoral race.

I, for one, don't really care what kind of language Rusk uses in his campaign. First of all, it's his campaign and he can run it how he sees fit. Second of all, I'm not offended by that kind of language, and it's just an extension of his knack for straight-talk, so I say more power to him. Plus it is a tad silly, I'll admit, to base your entire vote on whether or not someone curses in the public arena.

The questions I raised, with regard to being 'the no-bullshit candidate for mayor,' is along the lines of what Adrian asked - and that's how helpful is it? Granted it's not going to turn off anyone who was planning on voting for Rusk, but it does hold the potential to put off some folks who were considering voting for him. And because I feel fairly safe in saying he doesn't have a base of 51 percent of the likely voters in Athens, thus giving him the greenlight to say whatever he wants, it's not hard to imagine that Rusk is going to have to persuade some voters to back him in 2006 ... and that sometimes means creating some odd alliances who share a common vision.

So the political reality is that Rusk is going to have to reach out if he wants to become mayor. Now, he could be running to raise awareness to some issues, and that's fine. But I'll assume he actually wants to win, so that's my two cents.

Regardless, my bigger concern stemmed not from whether Rusk had a PG mouth or an R one. My concern is similar to the ones I hold for the other candidates in the race, and that's what does he really want to do?

It's fine and dandy to say 'the eastside needs more mixed-use development,' but it's another thing to go into detail and explain how you want to achieve that. It's swell to say that we waste money on some projects and decry the fact that the Athens Area Homeless Shelter is facing a massive shortfall, but it's also important to understand the Athens-Clarke County Commission holds no power in affecting that shortfall and it can only be made up by good fiscal management from the shelter, the generosity of the community and successful securement of grants.

While I do like Rusk, his candor and his willingness to participate in the discussions and debates in the fledging Athenian blogosphere, I have serious questions and, at this stage, doubts about his ability to serve as mayor. The more I read and the more I hear, the more I come away thinking he thought of this whole running-for-mayor-thing while knocking back a few beers with his buddies late one night.

I could be wholly wrong on this - and I hope I am - but accepting the responsibility of serving the public through elected office is a mighty big deal, and it requires individuals who are responsive to the entire populations of their communities, possess a deep understanding of the problems facing their communities, and know how to best address those issues.

From what I can gather from Rusk's AP post - as well as from his site - I am not yet convinced he's the man for the job. So while I agree with him over the silliness of the smoking ban, as well as the rental registration requirement, I'm not sold on things like only developing the hospitality industry at the expense of the 'heavy industry,' primarily for the reasons Adrian mentioned in the comments.

Likewise, while his backing of teaching students 'art/music/PE/ etc.' is a good thing to support, it's troubling to me that Rusk doesn't realize the budgets for the Clarke County School District and Athens-Clarke County Commission are different. Ditto for the emotional tug he offered for the homeless shelter. Everyone can agree the shelter needs help, and I hope we all do our part to save it, but it's a non-profit organization that relies on state and federal money, as well as private charitable giving. It's perfectly fine, in my view, for Athens-Clarke County to award whatever grants it can to the shelter, but it isn't as if we're not spending money on the shelter because we're working on Baxter Street.

And the same goes for the minimum wage hike he favors. The only direct salaries the commission can affect are local government jobs, and this commission already pays its employees what the National Low Income Housing Coaltion considers to be a 'living wage.'

Now I'll concede it's still just 2005 and the election is a long way away, so Rusk may very well have plenty of ideas of how to take care of the things he mentioned at AP.

And, to be fair, it's not simply Rusk who I'm underwhelmed by. Keith Johnson, a man who is running with a focus on issues like poverty and affordable housing, is possibly one of the least qualified individuals to hold the office. I have been at several forums where I've heard him speak, and I've come away thinking how little this man actually knows about said issues (including one of the most baffling diatribes from him during an affordable housing seminar I was at this past summer in which Johnson repeatedly asked 'what is the price of affordable housing' and the different representatives on the panel from places like Habitat for Humanity and the Athens Housing Authority tried to explain it varied for each family, but this is the ratio/formula you use ... and Johnson twice said 'why can't I get a straight answer ... is it $200? $300?).

Likewise, I've heard negative reviews of Charlie Mattox in the early going, and Tom Chasteen is so desperate not to offend anyone no one knows what he really believes in. Then you've got the current mayor in Heidi Davison who can't decide whether or not she wants to stick her foot back in the mayoral pool or not.

If I'm overly critical of Rusk (and the others), it's because I expect much out of my elected officials. In the past five years, I've seen unimpressive individuals assume the presidency, the governorship and a variety of leadership posts in both parties at the local, state and federal levels, and I don't want to see that happen in my hometown's race for mayor.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Bait and switch part deux

OK ... how in the world can you make this assumption?

“It was a shameful act for someone to disclose this important program in a time of war. The fact that we’re discussing this program is helping the enemy."
- President Bush, 12/19/05

How is discussing the potential illegal domestic spying of citizens 'helping the enemy?' What country do I live in? How did we elect this man? For that matter ... how can my party nominate such duds who are unable to defeat this man!?

Anyone else sense shades of The Pentagon Papers going on here?

And another thing ...

Matt Yglesias belittles the president's speech as well, which is good to read.

And I thought of this - last year, during the election, Bush claimed that thousands of Iraqi soldiers had been trained and were combat-ready. Last night, however, he said that only a few had been trained in 2004, but now thousands had been trained and were combat-ready.

So ... we've either made absolutely no progress in our ability to train Iraqi soldiers, or the president uttered a boldfaced lie during a political campaign in order to deflect (proper) criticism and get re-elected. Either option strikes me as being not good.

Bait and switch

Just to point out that in the president's address - the one, mind you, which delayed National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation by roughly half an hour - critics/opponents of the Iraq War were labeled as 'defeatists' while there was little, if any, mention of the actual scandal involving possible illegal and unconstitutional domestic spying.

Truly sad.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

U.S. hearts apathy

It's a tragic day when few, if any, seem to care that the president has blatantly violated the U.S. Constitution, the very document he swore to uphold.

Make no mistake, if the reports coming to light are true, than ordering the National Security Agency to spy on citizens living within the borders of the United States without issuing a warrant is an impeachable offense ... and I don't trot that word out too lightly.

I haven't cared much for the ideologies, positions or decisions of this president, but I have never felt he was necessarily a bad guy out to destroy all that is good about this country. And I'm still not sure he is ... but I do now feel he doesn't mind violating others in order to get his way.

If it's true, then he violated the Constitution and he has to go.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Guest blogging

Just a heads-up to let you know that I'll be doing some guest-blogging over at Athens Politics while Publius enjoys some R&R and DiDDY finishes up stuff related to his actual job. Publius lined up an impressive slate of guest bloggers in his absence, and I'll put up my actual post on either Dec. 22 or Dec. 23. On top of that, I'll keep an eye on and an ear out for news in the area to help make sure everything continues to go smoothly.

All this to say, my blogging here may be a tad lighter than normal ... though I have been rather sporadic over here in recent weeks. So, whatever.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Seeing that at one time in my life I was a newspaper editor, the annual correction and typo awards always make me giggle. Mercifully, one fateful error that I was partly responsible for in 2004 didn't make last year's list. So anywho, here are a few of my favorites from 2005:

Best Case(s) of Mistaken Identity
Sharing a name with a convicted mobster can be dangerous. Just ask Frank Calabrese, a Chicago businessman. Or Stanley Swieton, also from Chicago. Calabrese opened up the Chicago Tribune one day in April, turned to page 18, and found his picture in a graphic titled "Infrastructure of a Chicago mob." The paper inadvertently used his image instead of one for Frank Calabrese Sr. who is currently in prison. The next day the Trib used a picture of Stanley Swieton and identified him as Joseph "The Clown" Lombardo, another mobster. To make matters worse, the pic ran on the front page under a headline asking, "Have you seen this `Clown?"

Calabrese subsequently sued the paper for $1 million. Here are the corrections:

"A graphic explaining the alleged infrastructure of the Chicago Outfit mob on Page 18 of Tuesday's main news section incorrectly used a picture of businessman Frank Calabrese instead of mobster Frank Calabrese Sr. A story explaining the mistake appears on Page 1 of today's Metro section."

"A picture caption on Page 1 Wednesday incorrectly identified a man on a bicycle as the reputed mob boss Joey "the Clown" Lombardo. In fact, the man's name is Stanley Swieton and he has no ties to organized crime. A story explaining the mistake is on Page 1 of today's Metro section."


Best Abuse of Punditry
In August, a Fox News pundit identified a home he said belonged to a terrorist. It did belong to the man he named -- three years ago. Now it belongs to a family and they lived a nightmare because of the mistake. The LA Times report on the incident (full post):

"In what Fox News officials concede was a mistake, John Loftus, a former U.S. prosecutor, gave out the address Aug. 7, saying it was the home of a Middle Eastern man, Iyad K. Hilal, who was the leader of a terrorist group with ties to those responsible for the July 7 bombings in London.

Hilal, whom Loftus identified by name during the broadcast, moved out of the house about three years ago. But the consequences were immediate for the Voricks.

… A driver yelled a profanity at the family and called them terrorists as they barbecued on their patio Aug. 14. Some drivers have stopped and photographed the house, Randy Vorick said.
Last weekend, someone spray-painted 'Terrist' on their home. Police, who have regularly patrolled their house since the day after the broadcast, now station a squad car across the street ...
The Voricks said they had made several unsuccessful attempts to contact Fox News and Loftus by telephone and e-mail. They want a public apology and correction.
Both have issued apologies — Fox in a one-line statement to the Los Angeles Times and Loftus in an e-mail to the family — after being contacted by the newspaper. The Voricks say they have yet to see or hear a correction.
'John Loftus has been reprimanded for his careless error, and we sincerely apologize to the family,' said Fox spokeswoman Irena Brigante.
Loftus also apologized and told The Times last week that 'mistakes happen.'
'I'm terribly sorry about that. I had no idea. That was the best information we had at the time,' he said.

Also, be sure to check out the Best Service Journalism award ... that may be my favorite.

The historic vote

While I would be remiss to stress how important and, for lack of a better term, wonderful it is that Iraqis are flocking to the polls in record numbers, I'm not so sure we should declare this a sign of vindication for a free Iraq. It's probably true that a primary reason why so many Iraqis go to the polls is because they sincerely do want to seize control of their future.

But it's just as likely that one driving force they want to go to the polls and vote is because they want the U.S. to get out of their country as fast as humanly possible. An ABC News poll of Iraqi citizens on the eve of the election showed that most of them had very negative views of the American-led occupation.

The poll found that 46 percent of the country believe their country is better off now than before the invasion, while half of Iraqis say it was wrong for the U.S. forces to invade in 2003 (which is up from 39 percent last year). Only 18 percent of Iraqis have confidence in the U.S.-led forces, compared to a confidence rating of 68 percent in their own police forces.

Likewise, the poll discovered that support for a democratic government in Iraqi is below 50 percent in both the Sunni and Shiite populations, with it coming over 50 percent as a whole only when including the strong support democracy has among the Kurds.

So again, let's keep this in perspective ... while the elections are an important part of creating a more stable Iraq, one in which U.S. forces can return home, it's important to remember that such voter turnout is not so much about building a democratic Iraq, but about Iraqis getting Iraq back from the U.S.

Of course, the folks over at The Powerline attempted to wax poetic about the dreadful findings in the ABC News poll:

Actually, most Iraqis view the occupation exactly as President Bush and most Americans do: they want our forces to stay until the Iraqis can maintain reasonable security on their own, then leave. The ABC News poll released yesterday found that only 26% of respondents want coalition troops to "leave now." Further, only 10% list the withdrawal of foreign troops within the next year as a "high priority."

Murtha's conviction that American troops are the problem in Iraq, not the solution, and that things woud be better if we would only leave, exemplifies the childish solipsism so often seen on the Left, where American actions are generally seen as the causes of all events--or all bad ones, anyway.

Those are puzzling findings, particularly considering they appear to cite the exact same poll I just went over briefly. Matt Yglesias does a pretty good job smacking those claims down by taking a deeper look at the findings:

Asked "Do you strongly support,somewhat support, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose the presence of Coalition Forces in Iraq?", 47.6 percent marked themselves strongly opposed and 20.8 percent are somewhat opposed. Just 12.8 percent are strong supporters of the presence. 40 percent think coalition forces have done "A very bad job" of discharging their responsibilities in Iraq, and 19 percent say they've done "quite a bad job" (note that while "quite" is an intensifier in America, it's the reverse in Britain and the poll was written up by English people). Asked "how much confidence" they have in various institutions, 54.6 percent of Iraqis say they have "none at all" in coalition forces and 23.2 have "not very much."

The LPDS front

The president of the Athens-Clarke County Federation of Neighborhoods has come out in favor of turning Cedar Shoals Drive into a 'boulevard-type' district conducive to a development like La Puerta del Sol. It's the first prominent endorsement outside of the throngs of individuals who have supported LPDS, but it's also notable seeing how Herod doubles as the president of the Green Acres/Crestwood Community Association.

I still think it's hard to envision LPDS passing, primarily because of the stubbornness and irrationality of Cedar Creek residents and their unusual grip over the Athens-Clarke County Commission ... but when your justification for opposition is being shot down at every turn, then you begin to look rather petty.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

What's the what

It's taken a bit, but I think I have finally figured out how to use this new-fangled digital camera. As a result, I've gone nuts and posted a ton of pictures that the wife and I have taken the past month:

- The trip to New England

- Thanksgiving 2005

- Matt and Caroline get hitched

Matt and Caroline's wedding

Thanksgiving 2005

The Journey North

Monday, December 12, 2005

A really bad idea

The holidays should be about forgiveness, but I'm not sure bringing Roger Clemens back to the Red Sox fits the bill. If Clemens is content being booed by his own fans, then I suppose he's welcome. He can pitch his customary complete game gem in a game of no consequence, while lasting only 3 1/3 innings in a pivotal game against the Yankees before departing due to a nagging itch on his shoulder.

While we're at it, can we have Bucky Dent serve as our hitting coach too?

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Site update

Just a quick note, I updated some of the links here at the site. With this being the Christmas season, it's always a good time to encourage charitable giving. So I listed some organizations over to the right here that I particularly like. If you're looking to make a donation somewhere this season, I encourage you to take a look at one of 'em.

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.
- Hebrews 13:2

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Changing horses

Until about four minutes ago, I favored Reggie Bush for the Heisman Trophy. But one column has completely changed my mind on this matter, so for that I give props to Pete Fiutak at for this piece convincing me that Vince Young is the best player in college football.

The whole thing was very compelling, but the part that sealed the deal for me was this:

9. ... Young leads the nation in pass efficiency ... as well as yards per attempt averaging 9.72 yards on every throw. Young isn't just an improved passer ...

8. ... he's still one of college football's best runners.
Young might not have the Gale Sayers-like moves of Reggie Bush, but he's every bit the home-run hitter. Remember, not only are we talking about a player who's the nation's best passer this year, we're talking about a guy who has 850 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. While the Heisman isn't a career award, it's interesting to note that Bush has 3,087 rushing yards and 24 touchdown runs in 38 games, while Young, and remember, he's a quarterback, has rushed for 2,927 yards and 34 touchdowns in 36 games.

The reason for season?

I'll be honest ... I've never been one prone to feeling sympathies for those who desire to blur the lines of the separation of church and state - or those who have a belief that such a separation simply doesn't exist. I respect the fact we have such definitive lines between the two entities, and I think such a division is good and healthy for both of them.

Along those lines, we have one of the most bizarre and unusual disputes in recent memory concerning the use of the phrase "Merry Christmas" by corporations and by local, state and federal governments ... culminating with the furor over President Bush's card which included the phrase 'Happy Holidays' rather than wishes for a 'Merry Christmas.' It's been touched upon by folks here in the Athenian blogosphere like Athens Politics and by Eponymous (here and here).

So, I suppose I'll wade in ...

I don't get it.

And I mean that to both sides ... I don't get it.

On one hand, you've got elements of the Religious Right acting as if Christianity has been outlawed merely because the president decided to use a different phrase to express his best wishes.

This clearly demonstrates that the Bush administration has suffered a loss of will and that they have capitulated to the worst elements in our culture.
— William A. Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights

He claims to be a born-again, evangelical Christian. But he sure doesn't act like one. I threw out my White House card as soon as I got it.
— Joseph Farah, editor of the conservative Web site

I can't wrap my mind around such simplistic and narrow-minded thinking ... and I say this as someone who, at times, can possibly be considering a Bible-thumpin' Christian. Is your faith so shallow that because someone wishes you 'Happy Holidays' rather than 'Merry Christmas' you become convinced that Christmas is being erased from our society?

There is no war on Christmas, as Donohue was claiming last night on Scarborough Country (why I was watching that, I really can't begin to tell you ... flipping channels, got hooked I guess). I still went out and bought my Christmas tree, made plans with my family and friends to celebrate the holiday, and gone to church to see the candles be lit on the Advent wreaths. No one has come to my house and forbidden me from observing the birth of Jesus. That, my friend, would be a war on Christmas.

This is absolutely nothing but a political ploy to energize a fractured and disenchanted conservative base employed by a handful of vocal organizations. It's stirring a pot which doesn't even need a spoon in it (Donohue, by the by, offered one of the most classic 'faulty reasoning' lines I've ever heard when he claimed that wishing 'Merry Christmas' to Jews, Muslims and other non-Christians was actually an exercise in tolerance for their faiths because not wishing them 'Merry Christmas' revealed religious bigotry on the part of liberals ... high comedy).

On the other hand, I've had about enough of individuals who bristle when they even hear the mention of the phrase 'Christmas' ... and these complaints typically come from the left. If someone wishes you a 'Merry Christmas' it probably isn't because they have some ulterior motive to drag you away to their Jim Jones compound ... rather they are merely extending you a courteous greetings during this holiday season. It isn't malicious or underhanded or done to infuriate you, but done in a sense of goodwill.

There's no need for a boycott or a lawsuit if a department store holds a 'Christmas sale' rather than a 'Holiday sale' or if a reference to the Christmas season appears somewhere in the store. The overwhelming majority of Americans celebrate Christmas, and this is merely marketing to them. If anything, the real 'war' over Christmas should probably not come from the removal of it from the public realm, but rather the over-commercialization of the holiday.

As for all this talk of it not being a real holiday but rather one designed to align with the winter solistice ... who cares? Blame the early members of the church in Rome for nothing less than excellent marketing by meshing an observed Christian holy day with a popular festival so folks would not only grow more familiar with it, but also not forget it. Christians around the world celebrate Christmas because they remember the birth of Christ, and the symbols and rituals and practices they use to do so have roots dating back to both the early stages of the Christian church and the pagan ceremonies and festivals of Rome (and other native cultures). So what if the Christmas tree has roots in the winter solistice? It's a symbol the reminds me of the Christian aspects of the season.

This entire thing is one of the most nonsensical disputes I've seen in a while. So fight all you want about it, and I'm going to do my best to enjoy the season.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Some SEC wrap-up

Just a couple of things to touch on before Georgia goes into a mini-hibernation before taking on West Virginia in the Sugar Bowl:

• The Bulldogs landed eight - eight - members of its squad on the Associated Press's All-SEC First Team, including the three of the four slots in the secondary. DeMario Minter and Greg Blue were no-brainers, but Tim Jennings was a bit of a surprise. Not that he isn't a solid cornerback, but you'd think one of Florida's guys would jump out.

• Speaking of Minter, has anyone on that team come up more huge than him? It's like all of a sudden, prior to the Georgia Tech game, he just decided to become the best lock-down corner in the country.

• D.J. Shockley was robbed of the SEC Offensive Player of the Year. Jay Cutler? Really? Vanderbilt still went 5-6 and beat no one of note, and that includes the win over a down Tennessee team. When you start out 3-0 and then go 2-6 the rest of the way in your conference slate - and throw a pivotal pick that cost you in a winnable game at Florida - you shouldn't be the SEC's top offensive player. Shockley goes 10-1 as a starter, leads the conference in passing efficiency and is arguably the most dangerous weapon in the SEC. If you're a defensive coordinator, who would you rather face - Jay Cutler or D.J. Shockley?

• Going pro from Georgia? I call Leonard Pope with Quentin Moses coming back to be the senior leader of the defense in 2006.

• After attending the beautiful event that was the 2005 SEC Championship Game, I've modified my personal 'Seven Greatest Georgia Moments in History' ... mind you this includes things I remember experiencing or witnessing:

1. Robert Edwards' touchdown jaunt down the sideline in the fourth quarter against Florida, all but sealing the Bulldogs' 37-17 win over the Gators in 1997. I was in the end zone that Edwards was running at, and that was the first time it hit me - and probably everyone in the stadium - that Georgia was actually going to win that game. Seriously, chills thinking about it right now.

2. Michael Johnson's leap in the end zone to snag the winning touchdown on fourth down against Auburn in 2002, sending Georgia to its first SEC Championship Game. Just moments before it happened, Scott looks at me and says 'I am sick of Georgia always losing games like this.

3. Eric Zeier's brilliant performance as a freshman against a Top Five Clemson team in 1991, leading Georgia to a 27-12 win over the Tigers. This was when Clemson had owned the Bulldogs for about a decade and was always ranked in the Top 10 in the country (a pre-Florida State ACC mind you), and I had an irrational disdain for the Tigers at the time.

4. Mike Bobo-to-Corey Allen against Georgia Tech in 1997. Count me as one of the few remaining Georgia fans who consider the Tech game the biggest one on the schedule each year. To thoroughly crush their dreams in their stadium was excellent.

5. David Greene-to-Verron Haynes against Tennessee in 2001. Just moments before it happened, Scott looks at me and says 'I am sick of Georgia always losing games like this.

6. Tim Jennings' pick-six against LSU in the 2005 SEC Championship Game ... I was convinced LSU was going to come back in the fourth quarter, even with a back-up quarterback. Jennings' slow jog to the end zone - right in front of the LSU fans - helped me finally realize Georgia was going to win the game.

7. DeCory Bryant's punt block in the 2002 SEC Championship Game against Arkansas. The Razorbacks never recovered, and the Bulldogs rolled to their first title in 20 years.

What are your favorite moments?

Sunday, December 04, 2005


Congrats to the 2005 SEC Champions.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Not that I'm one prone to cross-linking - well, except that I kinda am - here's last night's Top Ten list from David Letterman, courtesy of Daily Kos.

Top Ten New President Bush Strategies For Victory in Iraq ...

10. Make an even larger 'Mission Accomplished' sign

9. Encourage Iraqis to settle their feud like Dave and Oprah

8. Put that go-getter Michael Brown in charge

7. Launch slogan, 'It's not Iraq, it's Weraq'

6. Just do whatever he did when he captured Osama

5. A little more vacation time at the ranch to clear his head

4. Pack on a quick 30 pounds and trade places with Jeb

3. Wait, you mean it ain't going well?

2. Boost morale by doing his hilarious 'Locked Door' gag

1. Place Saddam back in power and tell him, 'It's your problem now, dude'

---Late Show with David Letterman

By the way ... the locked door thing was hysterical in reality. Did the president just go to the wrong door? Was there a mix-up? Either way ... pretty damn funny.